Air pollution in america



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Air Pollution in America

Sheldon Hayes

Ottawa University

Abstract

This bibliographic paper discusses the dangers/issues of air pollution around individuals, what roles air pollution has on health, and what can be done to lower air pollution in cities across America. Air pollution and health issues shows direct correlation between each other. When an individual inhales more pollutants in the air that individual is more prone to health issues like bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer, etc. Vehicles, factory, and other sources are the main cause of air pollutants. These are things that people rely on every day for transportation or providing energy to cook, clean, or do other day to day functions. This paper is established off nine different sources related to air pollution in America, the health issues air pollution causes, how to protect oneself from air pollution, and the trends of air pollution from the past to the present. These sources are extended from books, academic journals, online websites, and newspaper articles. For the duration of this bibliographic essay the readers while understand the threats that air pollution causes and how they can decrease these threats in indoors and outdoors spaces they find themselves in.



Introduction

With the increase of the population in America from child birth, immigration, etc. America is needing more and more energy for function to support its citizens. However, the way that this energy is obtained is very harmful to the environment and especially to the air. Factors including levels of industrial activity and technological developments are emitting pollutants in the air



which include carbon monoxide, lead, and other harmful pollutants that causes health issues the for anyone who inhales them.

Health Issues

To comprehend ways to reduce air pollution in America, we must first understand why we should. Health issues that air pollution cause is one of the main reason to reduce air pollution in America. “Chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health in Southern California children” (Chen, 2015) spotlights the chronic effects that air pollution cause to respiratory systems in the body. This paper reports that “Outdoor air pollution is one of the leading contributors to adverse respiratory health outcomes in urban areas around the world” (Pg 1). Children especially are at a highly sensitive point because of their rapidly growing lungs, incomplete immune system and high levels of outdoor activity making them vulnerable to the pollutants in the air. The journal continues to focus on the health issues that not only children are at risk of contracting but also adults. Such as “increased asthma prevalence, new-onset asthma, risk of bronchitis and wheezing, deficits of lung function growth, and airway inflammation” (Abstract). Schwartz, J. (2001). Air pollution and blood markers of cardiovascular risk. Environ Health Perspect conducted a study that has linked air pollution to an abundance of premature cardiovascular deaths per year. In the study Schwartz reviewed the connection among blood markers of cardiovascular risk and air pollution in a national sample of the U.S. population. He used samples ranging from age, race, gender, body weight, and smokers and non-smokers. The results provided plausible evidence to the premature cardiovascular death studies. The blood markers were found in one key pollutant however, it was not found in other pollutants. In the article “Increased particulate air pollution and the triggering of myocardial infarction” (Peters, A., Dockery, D., Muller, J., & Mittleman, M. (2014). Increased particulate air pollution and the triggering of myocardial infarction. American Heart Association). It emphasizes that health and air pollution are directly correlated to each other. For example, an increase in air pollution in America will cause an increase in health issues in America, vice versus. The health issue that this journal decided to focus on was myocardial infarction. Myocardial infraction (MI) is commonly known as a heart attack which occurs when blood flow stops to part of the heart causing damage to the heart muscle. “The risk of MI onset increased in association with elevated concentrations of fine particles […]” (pg 1). The journal continues to state that other pollutants can cause acute exacerbation of cardiovascular disease through pulmonary inflammation triggering systemic hypercoagulability. All of these articles discuss the concern of air pollution on society’s health. However, although all articles provide credible sources and key facts in air pollution, the article that is most beneficial to this paper is Peters’ article on “increased particulate air pollution and the triggering of myocardial infarction” and Schwartz’s article on “air pollution and blood markers of cardiovascular risk” are the most constructive towards the point of why we should decrease the output of air pollutants in our environment.

Trends of Air Quality

To continue to find out ways to reduce air pollution society must find out the trends of air quality to observe whether or not we are heading in the right path or if the ways of the past were the better option in controlling air quality. The one study that is used in this paper to discuss the trends of air quality is the studies from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Although there is only one source to consider in this topic, the source is an extremely credible one. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is a sector of the federal government created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment. The website shows charts that compare different air pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Lead (PB), etc. The years that the EPA compares from are 1980 vs. 2013, 1990 vs. 2013, and 2000 vs. 2013. The results were shocking however, they were not reassuring. The first chart shows the percent in air quality in all of the compared years for the most common pollutants that were found in the air. The result display that the air quality has improved to each compared past year to 2013 and that there were a decrease in the pollutants in the air. The second chart shows the percent change in emission to each of the years. These result also display an improvement in the reduction of emission that are going into the air. However, these results are improving there still is a lot of pollutants in the air that cause harmful health concerns. Although the chart display a steady decrease in hazardous pollutants, there are still pollutants that are causing harm to people.



Reduce Health Risk of Air Pollution

If all of America does not change to clean and renewable energy source to reduce air pollution, there are still ways as an individual to reduce your health risk from air pollution. Laumbach, R. (2015). What can individuals do to reduce personal health risks from air pollution? Journal of Thoracic Disease. Writes about what individual can do to reduce their personal health risk from indoor air pollution to outdoor air pollution. One simple ways that Laumbach says is an easy way to reduce air pollution indoors is to use an air filter. He continues to show ways to reduce the intake of air pollution staying out of areas that have high air pollutant. One high area that Laumbach is public transportation. “Individuals who commute to work in personal vehicles or public transportation receive a substantial portion of their daily dose of air pollution during commuting activities. Pollutants emitted by nearby vehicles are the main source of on-roadway exposure. Most air intake filters in passenger vehicles are relatively low efficiency and air pollutants enter through open windows, leaks in door and window seals, and other openings.” (Pg. 38). To help protect individuals the article continues to say to use flirtation systems in your car. This is a great article with great points stating that even though other people does not help decrease the amount of air pollution that is emitted that individuals can still protect themselves from the health risk of air pollutants.



Alternate Energy

Now that the readers understand the harm and trends of air pollution, they must know understand what can be done to reduce air pollution but keep the same efficiently output in energy. (McNerney, 2012) “Clean energy nation freeing America from the tyranny of fossil fuels” discusses how dependent America is to fossil fuels and how clean energy could solve a lot of problems that America has. The source majority talked about the politic aspect of it which does not help this paper. However, Mcnerny did have a lot of key points to support this paper. One of the key sources that was stated was how instead of using any oil America should replace it with clean renewable energy. Redlarski, G. (n.d.). “Reducing air pollutant emissions from the residential sector by switching to alternative energy sources in single-family homes”. Polish Journal of Environmental. Writes about using clean energy sources in single-family homes to reduce pollution in these area. It also goes in depth that indoor pollution is just as dangerous as outdoor pollution. Calef, D. (n.d.). “The allure of technology: How France and California promoted electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce urban air pollution”. This is an online article on how France and California increased the use of electric and hybrid vehicles to decrease air pollution in urban areas. Both France and California achieved this by adopting legislation that promoted clean vehicles. David Calef continues to state in the article that both France and California determine the level of air pollution that is harmful to humans. This is a great source because it is saying that other country and states in the United States of America are taking the right steps to fix the air pollution problem in our country by making a small alternative choice in people’s day to day life. Winter, C. (n.d.). “Hydrogen energy — Abundant, efficient, clean: A debate over the energy-system-of-change”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, S1-S52. Writes about how clean energy such as hydrogen energy is as reliable and efficient as electric energy. Hydrogen produces a lot less dangerous emission than fossil fuel and also is renewable. This was a decent source because it specifically stated how hydrogen energy is a better source than electric and fossil fuels.



Conclusion

In conclusion, the facts and studies show that the benefits of using clean and renewable energy source out weights the cost of continuing to use oil and fossil fuel for energy. The danger of air pollution in America is causing too many problems from health issues like myocardial infraction to chronic effects on respiratory health. If we as a nation reduce the emission of dangerous pollutants in the air society will view the direct correlation to health issues that American citizens suffer each day because of the poor air quality. As the population of America increase the amount of energy needed to support those people who live here will also rise. If we continue to emit pollution at the rate we are going society as a whole will suffer from health issues. Like myocardial infraction, respiratory issues, premature cardiovascular deaths, and tons of other health risk. If society change small things in their life like switching to cars that emit less pollutants and inserting filtration systems in their homes we will witness a huge change in the air quality and in our own health. Society owes it to not only to ourselves but to our children and future children to make the world the safest place it can be. Above are reason not only why society as a whole should and but also ways that it can.

References

Laumbach, R. (2015). What can individuals do to reduce personal health risks from air pollution. Journal of Thoracic Disease

Chen, Z., Salem, M., Eckel, S., Breton, C., & Gilliland, F. (2015). Chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health in Southern California children. Journal of Thoracic Disease

Schwartz, J. (2001). Air pollution and blood markers of cardiovascular risk. Environ Health Perspect

Peters, A., Dockery, D., Muller, J., & Mittleman, M. (2014). Increased particulate air pollution and the triggering of myocardial infarction. American Heart Association

Air Quality Trends. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html

McNerney, G., & Cheek, M. (2012). Clean energy nation freeing America from the tyranny of fossil fuels. New York: AMACOM.

Winter, C. (n.d.). “Hydrogen energy — Abundant, efficient, clean: A debate over the energy-system-of-change”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, S1-S52



Calef, D. (n.d.). “The allure of technology: How France and California promoted electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce urban air pollution”

Redlarski, G. (n.d.). “Reducing air pollutant emissions from the residential sector by switching to alternative energy sources in single-family homes”. Polish Journal of Environmental


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